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Fantasy Baseball Standout Performers – Week 3 (4/18-4/24)

We have more weekly standouts as we head into Week 4 of the MLB season. We won’t discuss them all, and for the most part, we are sticking with hitters in this weekly column. The article aims to highlight some players that may not be on everyone’s radar unless you are playing in deeper leagues. So dig in and decide if the production is just a hot streak or something to invest in moving forward. Let’s look at five hitters that had impressive weeks and what we should do from a fantasy perspective.

Week 3 Standout Performers

Ty France (1B/2B – SEA)

The Mariners as a whole had a monster week. France led the way with hits in four of his last five games, with multiple hits in each game and 13 hits over those games. In addition, France had three home runs to go with a 54.2% hard-hit rate. Locked in may be an understatement, and his 6.9% strikeout rate this past week helped that argument.

France is now hitting .368 with five home runs and 21 RBI. His ISO of .265 and 1.075 OPS are outstanding as well. The hit tool has never been the real question with France and with his current plate discipline gains; watch out. He is striking out 11.4% on the season compared to his career 18.5%, which is aided by an elite 94.8% Z-contact. There will likely be some regression with France, but we know he can hit.

The rest of season projections have France hitting .270-.280 with 20 home runs. The average seems fair, but we could see even more power. If France is still available on your waiver wire, I’d grab him. His multi-position eligibility is lovely, and his power can’t be ignored.

Sheldon Neuse (3B – OAK)

Neuse is slowly putting together some fantasy production with regular playing time in Oakland. Last week he hit safely in five of seven games which were good for a .360 batting average. The power has yet to arrive, as we saw in the bouncy ball season of 2019 fully, but I have confidence we will see some homers soon. He stole a base last week, hits second in most games, and brought home a 157 wRC+.

Thanks to two more steals last night, Neuse is hitting .327 with a home run and three stolen bases. Neuse will have a regression, but there is an excellent hit tool to focus on. He appears to have the everyday role at 3B for the A’s, with an occasional start at 2B. Neuse is worth an add in deeper leagues as the power will come, and he is running. In 12-team or fewer leagues, he is best kept on your watch list for now.

Daniel Vogelbach (1B – PIT)

When the season began, who had the winning ticket on Vogelbach having the main leadoff role for the Pirates? I sure did not. But the big man hits first most of the games with an occasional hitting cleanup. Vogelbach hit safely in all six games this past week with two home runs and a 12.5% walk rate. He had a 13.3% barrel rate with a 94.4% Z-Contact, 80% contact, and 6.5% SwStr. Vogelbach appears to be seeing the ball well and quite locked in atop the Pirates’ batting order.

Vogelbach is now hitting .320 with a .240 ISO and .942 OPS. He is barreling the ball nearly 11% of the time with a 40% hard-hit rate. The Pirates are a mess, and that should make Vogelbach the regular atop the batting order. That makes him very intriguing for fantasy purposes. Vogelbach is a strong play in deeper leagues and on your watch list in 12-team or fewer leagues. With the proper upcoming schedule, Vogelbach will be worth an add-in shallower leagues with the proper upcoming schedule.

DJ LeMahieu (1B/2B/3B – NYY)

Guess who’s back, back again. LeMahieu is back playing nearly every day for the Yankees and ended the week back hitting leadoff. In the preseason, playing time was the primary concern surrounding DJ, especially with the addition of Josh Donaldson. That has been squashed, and a week like DJ just had, helps with that squashing.

This past week DJ hit safely in all six games, suitable for a .348 batting average. He even added a home run while striking out 16% of the time. DJ had a nearly 58% hard-hit rate with a Contact rate of 88%. DJ is getting locked in and should be added in all leagues. With his multi-position eligibility and leading off for the Yankees, he is again a fantasy stud.

Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL)

He may be 35 years old, but stop sleeping on Blackmon. Last week, he had a monster week, hitting .444 with two home runs and even a stolen base. He only struck out 9.1% of the time with an 11.1% barrel rate and 44.4% hard-hit rate. Moving up to first or second in the order has appeared to help Blackmon and, more importantly, help his fantasy value.

Blackmon is now hitting .281 on the season with four home runs. He has a .263 ISO and .883 OPS with his 9% barrel rate and 42.2% hard-hit rate. Blackmon is not mashing, but that is a solid stat line over 15 games. He brings substantial fantasy value to most leagues, especially five outfielder leagues. He brings consistency and has the luxury of playing half of his games in a great ballpark. Grab Blackmon where you can in the coming weeks.

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1 Comment
  1. BB says

    Sorry, but if Neuse has an “excellent hit tool,” why does he generally strike out around 30 percent of the time? (OK, that’s down a bit to 26 percent so far this season, but still …) His .300 BA is based on a .400 BABIP, once that normalizes the average will plummet. There’s a reason Fangraphs gave him a 40 hit tool upon prospect graduation last season.

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